Saturday, February 28, 2009

Chomping at the bit

There may be a global recession that's gripping half the world right now, but be damned if I feel it. This past February was one of the busiest work-related months of my life, as I sacrificed myself to the god of capitalism, although I seem to be perpetually on the negative side of the supposed dream I've heard so much talk about.

At the same time, winter has raged on in it's usual fashion, with London's weather experiencing 20 degree (C) changes within 24 hours in some cases, essentially confining me to my basement lair; ultimately this is leaving me yearning for spring. It's been a paradoxical winter for me, personally - while winter has made me stir crazy because I can't go outside, I've also been working myself to the point of collapse at times, sleeping in 4 hour shifts some days while collecting 30-40 hour weeks at my three jobs. Ironically, while I've found myself a slave to work, I've also found that out of the 28 days of this month, I had 11 of them off. Not bad for a near full-time worker.

Ultimately, I don't mind the crazy hours I work. I'd much rather sacrifice a few hours of a sleep a night for 3 more days off in the month, especially when these days come clumped together. This gives me time to research my film, and actually get the creative juices moving.

I'm not sure how many people experience the creative phenomena I live with, but I've always discovered that my best ideas, or my enlightened moments come very rapidly, and if I don't write them down or start discussing them with someone, they disappear almost as soon as they've came. At the same time, I can spend hours spaced out at work thinking about my film, or my newly envisioned novel that's been gaining mental steam to the point that it's nearly a runaway freight train. But I digress, so I'll get my priorities straight. 1: Film, 2: Novel.

1: My next short, which I've alas arrived at a working title of "Dana", has been progressing at a painfully slow rate. I've made some calls and done some research for the technical aspect of how this film is going to come together this summer, and I've been talking to virtually anyone that will listen about the conceptual aspect of it. However, since I want this to be a quality product, my sister (co-writer, although really she's put waaaay more effort on the first draft than myself) and I have been slaving over the details of the first draft of Dana's script. The hardest detail has been connecting the plausibility of the action with the motives of the characters, although we've finally got to the final act. Both of us are becoming very impatient with the progress of the script, but we're of the same mind: if it all doesn't fit, it's a piece of shit. By the time this script is finished, which I envision being some time in March, all the small details will match; visual, emotional, and story. Then comes the next challenge.

I've already hammered out the preliminary research on camera equipment. I'm planning on shooting the entire short as a POV [point of view], so equipment and creative shooting will be a priority come call time. Mentally, the visuals of the film are solid, as they were what initially spawned the whole short. I need to affix a camera to a cameraman's/actor's head with a deck [recording device] somewhere on their body or out of sight to make the shooting style believable; and then there's the balance of how much of this film will come together in post-production. It's a lot to think of, especially considering this will be shot on a shoestring budget, and could end up being up to 20 minutes in length... but I've always preferred a challenge over the status quo.

2: Over the last month or so, I've been dreaming up this novel that has a quintessential film-noir feel to it. Living in London has always had its advantages and disadvantages - and my own personal beliefs that London has a 'crime-town' feeling to it is what initially gave birth to this novel idea. I've found that this city balances good and bad in a precarious way - the good things (such as recreation, small-town feeling, big-city convenience, etc) really carry this city's reputation, while the bad things (traffic problems, general administrative incompetence, obvious corruption, 'rich bastard' syndrome, sprawling east-end ghettos, etc) really bring a crushing sense of cynicism to someone that lives here. It's this balance that the city carries that gave birth to the novel; a cynical, perpetually poor private investigator that gets the case that he sees as his ticket to big money finds himself nearly over his head in the details. I will definitely be posting chapters to this blog. I hesitate to set a timeframe because I'm deep in the research stage, but I can tell you while this will be a fictional story, much of it will involve truths or actual London locations.

I've been pretty excited about this novel, and a completed outline came together within mere days. I haven't yet thought of a title for it, but all the characters are in place, the plot makes sense, and I've been chomping at the bit to start writing the chapters. I've already plowed through J.G. Ballard's High Rise and The Drought as some inspiration, while Burglars Can't Be Choosers by Lawrence Block was the initial idea creator. Of course, I can't discount HG Wells' classic War of The Worlds. Naturally, Lost. Prison Break, Veronica Mars, and The Dresden Files DVDs and books have all been a heavy research diet of late. I won't drop too many details as of right now, but suffice to say that the first chapters of this novel, with the main character Sam Maxton's exploits, will be hitting this blog shortly. This won't be a Marathon, Ontario novel situation (a novel I started a few years back) situation because this already has a complete outline - and like I said before, I've been itching to start writing on this one.

So, that's what has been going on recently for LEGP. I know my posts have (as always) been scarce, but that's a situation that will be rectified in the coming months as I lose myself in Dana and Maxton's lives.


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